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Mediatek takes crown for tiniest RF transceiver

Posted: 11 Mar 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF transceiver? Mediatek? RF front end? 40nm? MT6167?

Just when Qualcomm Inc. announced its plans to develop RF front ends for tier LTE smartphones, Mediatek Inc. steals its thunder and reveals what is known to be the world's smallest multimode transceiver.

ABI Research's teardown says that not only is Mediatek's MT6167 the smallest multimode transceiver, but it is also the world's first 40nm transceiver.

The transceiver accompanies the MT6589 quad-core application processor/3G modem and the MT6320 power management unit (PMU). The MT6167 measures less than 7mm2 and supports 2G and 3G protocols. The norm for transceivers with this functionality is above 20mm2. Qualcomm's current solution measures in slightly above 25mm2.

The MT6589 chipset, on the other hand, measure 40 per cent less power in 2G talk modes and 30 per cent less in 3G talk modes compared to the prior MT6577 solution (as measured in ABI Research's teardown laboratory). The quad core A7's provide a smooth UI and plenty of mobile power.

Jim Mielke, VP of engineering at ABI research, notes, "This sharp contrast in die size reflects on more than just design expertise though, it gives a glimpse into the company's mindset. Qualcomm continues to push the technology envelope (additional computing power, higher data rates, etc.) while Mediatek follows slightly behind, aiming for the most cost effective and power conscious solutions." Mielke continues, "Qualcomm will remain the leader of the pack as long as additional technology is required but once the mobile device reaches a point where consumers are satisfied with performance, watch for Mediatek and companies with the same mindset to come on very strong."





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